I fell into a burning ring of fire
– Johnny Cash, 1963
On December 17th a Tesla Model S in Los Gatos, California, experienced a flat-tire. The car was towed to a tire shop. The Tesla’s owner said he started hearing a hissing sound while he was inside the tire shop, taking care of the bill. At that point the 3-month old Tesla Model S combusted into flames; those flames were extinguished by the local fire department.
Soon after, fire officials worried that the battery could reignite itself and decided to wait for it to cool down before towing it out of the tire shop. They waited 6 hours before towing it to a new lot, after which it caught fire again. After the second fire was put out, the fire department had the Tesla under surveillance to ensure it wouldn’t play matchstick for a third time. The owner says that the Model S only has 1,200 miles.
Tesla has since stated that they are investigating the cause of the fire and are happy to learn nobody was hurt. As to why this particular Model S decided to play pyro, further details need to be released. If I had to take a guess, I would suspect that – maybe – the Tesla was towed incorrectly to the tire shop. Certain electric vehicles need to be towed with all four wheels off the ground on a flatbed to avoid damage to the motor, according to Green Car Reports.
(And we’ll await word from the California Air Re sources Board on the environmental impact of a twice-burnt Tesla. – Ed.)